Have you ever been angry at God over how He sees marriage?
What about words like “submission”? Or what about verses like “do not deprive each other“? Have those ever gotten your back up?
Today’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! And today I want to share with you a powerful story of a young wife’s journey through anger at God towards understanding and peace.
At one of the Girl Talk events I did last month I met Anna. She had driven quite a way to come and hear me, and after the event she emailed me her testimony to let me know how much of a role I had played and how God had used me to help her find peace in her marriage. It brought me to tears. And I want to share it with you today, because I think many of us have walked roads similar to Anna’s.
It all began on a Sunday towards the end of September. Our pastor said,
There are sins in marriage other than cheating on your spouse.
…say what?! I immediately thought. What is he talking about?
Any normal person would have gone up to their pastor after church and asked him what he meant by that. Not me. I didn’t go to anyone about this. Not even my husband. It ate at me. I had questions.
To me it’s hard to speak to men. I’m just not comfortable. And I think because our pastor is…well, a pastor and a man, I was unconsciously actually afraid to speak to him on it too. So what did I do?
I googled it. “Sins in Marriage” I typed.
I hit search…
Oh boy. It led me to an article, written by a man, claiming women have to ‘give it up’ every time to their husband. No matter how they felt. No matter if they were on their period. Were sick. Exhausted. If the man wanted it, she had to give it to him. This man also felt there was no such thing as marital rape. This man went as far as to use scripture about submission to try and support what he was saying.
Now I hated the word submission.
To me it meant that I’d be taken control of and used as a slave, without a say in anything. And this article only confirmed what I had originally thought. I was fuming. It couldn’t be right, could it? It made me feel dirty and used as a woman, as if I was only created to be used for pleasure by my husband.Did God really make women just to be servants of men? A woman wrestles with the question: Click To Tweet
So, what do you do when you don’t agree with what someone else has to say? You read it for yourself. So I pulled my bible out and turned to these verses. And it didn’t help me. I only understood it through the lens of the faulty article that I had just read. I became SO angry with God that He would make me only for a man’s jollies! I kept this anger inside for a time. I was so distanced from God it hurt so much.
But I really couldn’t tell my husband or anyone at that point. I didn’t want to tell my husband I was angry with God. He is a man. More importantly he is my husband. I was afraid he would feel the same as the man in the faulty article. So I stayed silent while dying inside.
Desperately seeking a positive valid Christian answer, what did I do again?
I googled my question in the search engine box but this time I type “Christian point of view“.
Sheila Wray Gregoire’s marriage blog post “29 days to Great Sex” popped up. As I read, I felt as if it were speaking directly to me. There are things mentioned in there that I didn’t even know about myself as a woman and how my body works.
For instance, I seriously DID NOT KNOW that I had to be warmed up and loved on first before I’d be in “the mood”. Or that women are “list makers“, constantly thinking. Easily distracted. And our libidos really are mostly in our heads. ( men… Not so much).
I often felt broken because things did not always go in my favor in intimacy, while they were always so easy for Josh. But this blog helped me realize why and showed me how to address issues and allowed me to start seeing that sex with my husband is not all about the physical. It showed me it is for me too and not just my husband! It is also showed me that sex is spiritual!
Now, I did not discover all of this in one evening or over night. Before I read completely through this blog I was still fuming upset inside.
One day we both got off work and found ourselves at his parents’ house. We were getting ready to leave, and obviously something was wrong and he noticed. We were walking the babies out to load into the car and he asked me. “What is wrong with you?”
I was scared…but I knew I finally had to tell him what had been going on.
I reluctantly began to tell him…from the very beginning. I told him from the Sunday that brother Danny mentioned sins in marriage, and how I read that article and how I felt so so dirty.
His answer was a blessing to me. He said, “Anna I don’t know much about those passages but let us read it ‘together’.” So we got our family bible out, turned to 1 Corinthians chapter 7 and read out loud.
At that moment, I was released from the Devil’s grip. The way I had understood it reading with my husband was not the same as the devil had made me believe reading it by myself.
Why was it so hard for me to come to my husband in the first place?
In this moment the Lord opened a doorway of communication for Josh and I that we never had before.
Over the next little while I started reading Sheila’s marriage webpage and reading more books, and I started to realize things and make changes about myself. There were a few deep rooted issues I had picked up from watching my parents’ marriage. My mom used to always say she had to “walk the line ” around my dad. That was exactly what I was doing in my own marriage. I had been “walking the line” for my whole marriage and I did not even have to! From watching my mom around my dad growing up, I carried that with me into my own marriage thinking I needed to do the same with my husband. I had unneeded fear.
One Wednesday, in October, I was not feeling myself. I still despised the word submission. I got to church and the speaker was talking about being yoked with Christ. He asked what the definition of submission meant to us. No one answered. And with his joking personality, and no harm meant, he said, “oh, I bet you women should know what submit means,” and he quoted Ephesians 5:22.
Now he DID NOT know what I had been dealing with spiritually. It really was a joke. But it really sat with me wrong.
Brother Danny finished his lesson, I was really upset. On the way home I prayed, “Lord, I am so tired of being ANGRY!!!” And I pleaded with him, “Please take this from me!”
I prayed to God, how can I be submissive and not be taken control of? If I don’t agree with something I should be able to say so. We are a team I am not my husband’s slave!
I then remembered God opened up a doorway of communication for me and my husband. So we sat down for dinner one evening and I asked him what he thought it meant for me to be a submissive wife. He looked at me confused a little… But surprised me with what he replied.
Oh, I don’t know. I guess an example would be…last night. Before bed, I asked you to put a load of clothes on to wash. And you did.
I thought about the night before for a moment. Thought about how exhausted and ready for bed I was too. Kinda jealous he was going to bed before me. But how I still washed his clothes. No second thoughts about it. I replied to him,
But I did that because I love you… And I wanted you to have those clean clothes.
As we finished eating dinner it hit me.
Submission is not about being told what to do. It’s about Service and Love.Submission is not about being told what to do. Let's reframe how we see marriage! Click To Tweet
So submission does NOT mean control over the wife. It does NOT mean the wife has no voice. Submission ACTUALLY means serving another out of love. With a joyful heart. (No second thoughts).
This verse has been misused, my friends. I figured out in that moment that I was already naturally a submissive wife. Even though I despised the word before. I was already doing what I was supposed to. And in this moment of open and honest communication with my Husband, I found FREEDOM in my heart and my soul!
So let’s look at what God did for me on this journey.
- He took fear away
- He opened my eyes to deep rooted issues caused from my past.
- He gave me completely open and free communication with my husband. Something I never knew I didn’t have already! Wow!!! Let me just say Communication is POWER!!!
- He showed me I can TRUST my husband. And go to him about ANYTHING.
- He answered a prayer…immediately…yet taught me a lesson at the same time.
- He showed me that I should always pray for discernment when searching for answers in the bible. (The devil knows the bible better then man ever will and will try to make us believe lies if we are not careful. This is what happened to me.)
- He led me to the right sources to help guide me in finding answers about myself that I never knew.
- He has shown me His amazing grace and LOVE.
- He has forgiven me.
- He took heavy chains of bitterness that had been placed inside of me and freed me from it!!!! That burden is GONE!
Isn’t that beautiful? I’m so glad that Anna shared that with me, and I love her conclusions at the end.
I want to add one more that was reinforced to me when I read her story:
It’s okay to yell at God when you’re confused. He’d rather that we come to Him in honesty and brokenness and wrestle with Him than that we just quietly retreat. Let Him fight for you–because God will!
And, of course, my book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage deals with this at length, and hopefully can bring some of you out of the fog that Anna was in!
Let me know in the comments: Have you ever been angry at God because of someone’s interpretation of Scripture? How did you get out of the fog (or are you still there)?